in Prose

S02E15 : The hardest thing I have ever done

Hrrrrngh. Alright, let’s do this.

My partner and I broke up. There. It’s a thing that happened, and now it’s written down. And now I can talk about it.

It’s impossible to write about being broken-hearted without hamming it up, chewing the scenery like a Romeo who’s in it for the snogging. There’s such a weird depth of pain and loss and sadness that describing it properly needs music or arm movements or massive, unnecessary wars that will eventually spawn a movie starring Brad Pitt.


Describing it improperly is easy. I’ve been doing it all week. I’ve been “sad”, as if with three letters, with one syllable, you could express the feeling of walking through life with a hole where a person used to be.

It was, in the parlance, “amicable”. There’s a difference in where we see our lives. We did the right thing; the grown-up thing. The hard and horrible thing. I don’t recommend it. If you’re going to break up with someone, do the right thing. Commit some heinous sin. They will hate you, but they won’t feel like this. And that’s probably better. In the grand scheme of things, the amount of sadness will have reduced a little.¹

Other things happened this week, but I need you to understand that this was the screaming backdrop against which the following things happened.

2nd Troy GIF

I tried to learn Ruby as I’m in a team that works entirely in that language. Cue scenes of panic as I attempt to speed read Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby.

It is not a book you can speed read. It is barely a book that you can read. I am perplexed that anyone who’s ever read it can still speak English, let alone program in Ruby. Here’s a quote picked at random:

One day I was walking down one of those busy roads covered with car dealerships (this was shortly after my wedding was called off) and I found an orphaned dog on the road. A woolly, black dog with greenish red eyes. I was kind of feeling like an orphan myself, so I took a couple balloons that were tied to a pole at the dealership and I relocated them to the dog’s collar. Then, I decided he would be my dog. I named him Bigelow.

Perplexing.

I got a sticker at just the right time. I needed this reminder that being generous with myself is an a-okay thing to do, and I am writing this sentence weirdly because even expressing that sentiment makes me feel like less of a man so let’s get to the end of this sentence quickly thank you.² Credit and love to Sam Villis for the lovely sticker.


I finally got to meet Jess Neely, whom I’ve been coaching in the mysterious art of confidence. I come into this as a middle-class white man, so I’ve got an absolute lifetime of experience of people assuming I’m more competent than I am. I’ve done my best to spread this amazingly mundane superpower around. It’s too much power for one man to possess.

I organised many things, including exciting meetings with people I deeply admire. I had lunch with another former Fast Streamer, bumped into someone I went to uni with, and generally tried to fill my time with useful things. I’ve literally just lined up a meeting I’ve been trying to get for three years, and I’m absolutely over the moon. I’ve already got a corporate objective in mind. Watch this space. Watch it. Waaatchhhh iiiiiitt.

I wrote this. And it was really, really painful. A bit good. But painful. And you read it. Thank you for doing that.


¹ I really can’t stress enough that if you take advice from me, a guy with a shattered heart, you are in for a really bad time. Please do not do this.

² The patriarchy fucks up e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e

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